Imam Bayildì

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Imam Bayildi.JPG

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

After World War I, Greece was given the command of the cities in the coastal area of Turkey towards the Aegean Sea. Turkey have never accepted that decision and started guerilla tactics against Greek army. Kemal Atatürk the leader of the Turkish National Movement managed to secretly make agreements with the previous allies of Greece and supplied his army with guns. After several Greek diplomatic mistakes and the empowerment of Turkish army, Greece lost the war and had to retreat with heavy casualties.
Before the war about 2,000,000 Greeks were living in the coastal area of Turkey. Because of the war and the consequent defeat, 25,000 Greek soldiers and 600,000 civilians were killed. Also, 1,500,000 citizens had to abandon their homes and country and come as refugees to Greece.
Those people came here homeless, penniless and devastated. The Greek government gave them homes to live and they tried to start their lives all over again. Along with them, they brought their rich culture i.e. their customs, their mentality and their eating habits. Those people enriched the local range of food enormously and their meals became part of what we call today Greek kitchen.

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My maternal grandparents and their families were among those people who came to Greece as refugees. I always remember them with love and affection talking about the lost countries. My grandmother was from Cappadocia and she was an excellent cook. She brought with her all local eating habits and food which were so much influenced by the Middle Eastern way of cooking. Every time we were visiting, she was having a delicious meal to treat us us and the moment you entered their house the smells of several dishes cooking on the stove or in the oven were welcoming you.

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Imam Bayildì is such a dish. The story says that the Imam (the Muslim priest) ate so much of it, that he fainted. Indeed, the original version of this food calls for the eggplants to be fried. Also, the onions and garlic must be sautéed in the same oil the eggplants were fried. You can understand that cooking it this way would be not only a calorie’s dynamite, but also a very heavy meal. No wonder why the Imam has fainted.

So, taking into consideration the modern way of living and our completely different needs food wise, I opted to lighten it up and adapt it to our taste palate. Instead of frying the eggplants, I baked them. Instead of sautéing the onions and garlics at the same oil, I used brand new olive oil and only couple of tablespoons. It was a delicious meal and despite all these compromises I made, I think it was even better than the original one.

By the moment you will be reading this post, I will be away for my yearly pilgrimage to my father’s village. I apologize as I will not be able to visit your delicious blogs this and the coming week, but I promise, promise I will catch up in no time once I get back from holidays. This along with next Monday’s post are scheduled to go live while I will be absent. I will see you all in two weeks. And I will bring as many photos as I can! Take care!

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Imam Bayildì

Ingredients
6 small eggplants
3 onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup water
2 tsp double concentrated tomato paste
¾ cup tomato juice
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp sugar
1 cup grated cheese
6 tsp breadcrumbs, one for each eggplant
Pepper

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Instructions
Take a deep pot fill couple of inches above half of it with water and add about 3 tbsp of salt.
Cut the stems of the eggplants and then cut them lengthwise, paying attention not to cut them completely leaving less than an inch uncut.
Put the eggplants in the salted water and let them stay for half an hour.
Remove, wash them thoroughly and wipe them.
Preheat oven to 175° C / 350° F.
Brush them with olive oil, salt them with the 1 tsp of salt and place them in a baking sheet with their cut sides up.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and put aside.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

For the Sauce
In the meantime make the sauce.
In a pan pour about 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions in medium heat until they start to soften.
Add the garlic and continue to sauté for one minute.
Pour the double concentrated tomato paste dissolved in the ½ cup of water.
Add the tomato juice and all herbs and spices, salt/pepper and sugar and simmer in medium/low heat for as long as the eggplants are in the oven.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

Assembly
After baking them the eggplants will be as an open book.
Take each one of them and fill it with the sauce.
Add some cheese on top of the tomato and 1 tsp of breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.
Place them again in the oven and bake them for another 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve them with Greek yogurt adding to it minced garlic.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

5.0 from 10 reviews
Imam Bayildì
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 6 small eggplants
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • ¾ cup tomato juice
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 6 tsp breadcrumbs, one for each eggplant
  • Pepper
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Take a deep pot fill couple of inches above half of it with water and add about 3 tbsp of salt.
  2. Cut the stems of the eggplants and then cut them lengthwise, paying attention not to cut them completely leaving less than an inch uncut.
  3. Put the eggplants in the salted water and let them stay for half an hour.
  4. Remove, wash them thoroughly and wipe them.
  5. Preheat oven to 175° C / 350° F.
  6. Brush them with olive oil, salt them with the 1 tsp of salt and place them in a baking sheet with their cut sides up.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove and put aside.
For the Sauce
  1. In the meantime make the sauce.
  2. In a pan pour about 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions in medium heat until they start to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for one minute.
  4. Pour the double concentrated tomato paste dissolved in the ½ cup of water.
  5. Add the tomato juice and all herbs, salt/pepper and spices and sugar and simmer in medium/low heat for as long as the eggplants are in the oven.
Assembly
  1. After baking them the eggplants will be as an open book.
  2. Take each one of them and fill it with the sauce.
  3. Add some cheese on top of the tomato and 1 tsp of breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.
  4. Place them again in the oven and bake them for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Serve them with Greek yogurt adding to it some minced garlic.

5.0 from 10 reviews
Ιμάμ Μπαΐλντί
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 6 μικρές μελιτζάνες
  • 3 κρεμμύδια, κομμένα σε φέτες
  • 3 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένες
  • ½ φλ. νερό
  • 2 κ.σ. πάστα ντομάτας
  • ¾ φλ. χυμό ντομάτας
  • 2 κ.γ. αλάτι
  • 1 κ.γ. αποξηραμένο βασιλικό
  • ½ κ.γ. αποξηραμένα ρίγανη
  • ¼ κ.γ. αποξηραμένο θυμάρι
  • ¼ κ.γ. κανέλα
  • ¼ κ.γ. μοσχοκάρυδο
  • 2 κ.γ. ζάχαρη
  • 1 φλ. τριμμένο τυρί
  • 6 κ.γ. τριμμένη φρυγανιά ένα για κάθε μελιτζάνα
  • Πιπέρι
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Πάρτε μία κατσαρόλα, γεμίστε τη με νερό και προσθέστε περίπου 3 κουταλιές της σούπας αλάτι.
  2. Κόψτε τα κοτσάνια από τις μελιτζάνες και κόψτε τις κατά μήκος, δίνοντας προσοχή να μην τις κόψετε μέχρι κάτω.
  3. Βάλτε τις μελιτζάνες στο αλατισμένο νερό και αφήστε τις για μισή ώρα.
  4. Βγάλτε τις, πλύνετέ τις καλά και σκουπίστε τις.
  5. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 175° C.
  6. Αλείψτε τις με λάδι, αλατίστε τις με το 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι και τοποθετήστε τις σε ένα ταψί στο οποίο έχετε στρώσει χαρτί ψησίματος με τις κομμένες πλευρές να βλέπουν προς τα πάνω.
  7. Ψήστε για 30 λεπτά.
  8. Αφαιρέστε τις και βάλτε τις στην άκρη.
Για τη Σάλτσα
  1. Εν τω μεταξύ κάντε τη σάλτσα.
  2. Σε ένα τηγάνι ρίξτε περίπου 3 κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε το κρεμμύδι σε μέτρια φωτιά μέχρι να μαλακώσει.
  3. Προσθέστε το σκόρδο και συνεχίστε να σοτάρετε για ένα λεπτό.
  4. Ρίξτε την πάστα ντομάτας (τοματοπελτέ) διαλυμένη στο ½ φλιτζάνι νερό.
  5. Προσθέστε το χυμό ντομάτας και όλα τα αρωματικά, αλάτι, μπαχαρικά και τη ζάχαρη και σιγοβράστε σε μεσαία/χαμηλή θερμότητα για όσο διάστημα έχετε τις μελιτζάνες στο φούρνο.
  6. Γέμισμα
  7. Μετά το ψήσιμό τους οι μελιτζάνες θα είναι σαν ένα ανοιχτό βιβλίο.
  8. Πάρτε κάθε μία από αυτές, και γεμίστε τη με τη σάλτσα.
  9. Προσθέστε λίγο τυρί πάνω από την ντομάτα και 1 κουταλάκι τριμμένη φρυγανιά πάνω από το τυρί.
  10. Τοποθετήστε ξανά στο φούρνο και ψήστε για άλλα 35 έως 40 λεπτά.
  11. Σερβίρετε με γιαούρτι αρωματισμένο με σκόρδο.

It was featured in
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

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